BELEN—An 85-year-old woman lost her life in a fire Tuesday morning in Belen.
Belen Fire Chief Charles Cox said the fire department was dispatched at 1:58 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6, to a house at 106 Al Seery Dr. in Belen. Even before they arrived at the house, they were informed one person was still inside the single-wide mobile home.
When fire crew arrived, they found “heavy fire” engulfing much of the structure, the fire chief said.
“We stretched attack lines, and the first crew tried to enter the structure,” Cox said. “They made several attempts to get in but, unfortunately, they were unable to get in there to save the occupant of the building.”
The fire chief said once firefighters were able to get into the home, they were able to knock (the fire) down, but were unable to save the elderly woman, who was found in the back bedroom.
Belen Police Sgt. Mario Vallejos identified the woman as Ramona Vinson.
“We did transport three other occupants who were in the home and who were able to get out,” the fire chief said. “They were taken to Presbyterian Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”
Cox said one Belen firefighter, who tried to get the woman out of the house, sustained first-degree burns to his wrist area.
“He was treated on scene, and he was allowed to get back to work,” Cox said of the firefighter.
The fire chief said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, as the state fire marshal’s office is assisting the city’s fire marshal to determine how the fire started, which is standard protocol.
Fire crews from the Rio Communities and Valencia County fire departments were also on hand to help fight the Tuesday morning fire.
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.